State renewable energy standards have gained momentum over the past decade with 29 states having put in place various types of standard mandates and five more having implemented voluntary standards (34 total). Now the federal government is looking to get into the game with a bi-partisan bill (S. 3813) aiming to set a minimum national standard. Renewable energy standards certainly feel good, but do they really provide the best path for achieving their goals? The existing renewable energy standards are savvy in finding a way to reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions while simultaneously being politically palatable to a broad array of people. But they are a bit silly in their formulation.